Monday, September 12, 2011

Harbach's debut lives up to its hype, and then some


In three years of reviewing books, I’ve never read one twice. I just don’t have the time. Once one is done, it’s on to the next.

I knew when I read the galley of The Art of Fielding in June that I had to re-read it before writing my review. It was so finely layered that I knew I needed another pass in order to do it justice. I had a couple months to play with, because it wasn’t releasing until September. But while I read other books throughout the summer, The Art of Fielding, still resting on my nightstand, was always in the back of my mind. “I’ve got to get back to this one.” I’m glad I did. I picked up so much on the second go-round. All the subtle foreshadowing presented itself to me as what it really was and not just interesting detail. And knowing what was going to happen freed me up to pay closer attention to the art of the language that Chad Harbach uses. His similes pop right off the page, exploding vivid images inside your head. Every word fits precisely where it was meant to fit. There’s no slop anywhere. It’s a brilliant piece of fiction.

I loved it the first time I read it. I love it even more now. Baseball novels like this come along so rarely that to me it’s already a classic. My review is now up on BaseballAmerica.com. Read it, then go buy the book. You won’t be sorry.

No comments:

Post a Comment